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Virginia Is for Lovers But It's Not for Hate

Virginia Rebrands Tourism Slogan

After the violence in Charlottesville, the state is standing up for acceptance with a play on its famous slogan.

Nearly half a century ago, Virgina needed a slogan. So, in 1969 copywriter Robin McLaughlin of the Martin & Woltz advertising agency coined the phrase "Virgina Is For Lovers." The phrase became a sensation, inducted into New York's Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame by popular vote in 2009. Today it is recognized as America's longest-running state tourism slogan.

Unfortunately, in wake of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia looks more and more like a place for white supremacists than lovers. McLaughlin's agency, which is now called The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va. recognized the need for rebranding and transformed the slogan to "Virgina Is For Everyone" along with #standforlove.


"A lot of people in Virginia and across the country were shocked by what happened in Charlottesville last weekend," Dean Jarrett, chief communications officer at The Martin Agency told Adweek, "and this is one little way to get a positive message out there." Although The Martin Agency no longer leads Virginia Tourism Corporation, the companies have agreed to let the agency display the logo digitally and outside its headquarters as a symbol of tolerance. Both companies are using #standforlove on their social media accounts.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with Virginians happy to see a sign of compassion over hate and numerous tourist spots adopting the image.

"It's a tagline that evokes the exact opposite emotions of seeing the images from Charlottesville."

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Ariel Sobel